MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — Gov. Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker announced an initiative on Thursday that aims to strengthen the state’s teacher recruitment and retention efforts.

The governor and commissioner were joined by local education officials, teachers and legislators.

“What we’re talking today, really, are centerpieces of trying to rebuild a profession that has taken some hard, hard hits,” said Kate Dias, the president of the Connecticut Education Association.

The changes include adjusting how teacher evaluations are done. Teachers and administrators will work together more closely — and with less paperwork — to focus on professional development.

“The evaluation model represents a revolutionary change in the way we will promote growth,” said AFT President Mary Yordon.

The teacher certification process will be modernized, making it easier for paraprofessionals to get their certifications.

“We are committed to breaking down barriers to entry while upholding quality, as well as retaining, not just those new coming in, but our veteran teacher core, as well,” Russell-Tucker said.